Flounder on the Counter *

* actual fish not included – editors note


Kids ever ask you “But how does Santa KNOW?”

Naughty or nice, every December a big show

behavior is coerced, by threats and cajoling; the

latest big thing? A shelf-elf spying, all-knowing


elfplain“At holiday time Santa sends me to you

I watch and report on all that you do!”

Kids get elf paranoia from Santa himself!

“I am his helper a friendly scout elf!”


‘Scout elf’ is a ‘pal’ that your kids gets to name

so years later in therapy they know just who to blame

He sits in a new spot every day in December

elftextingtil one day he doesn’t – cause you forgot to remember


Each night while kids sleep he must send Santa a text

all the bad stuff they have done, but in proper context

elf reports to him each day if kids have been good or been bad

then make creepy small talk about the day that you had


Don’t swear or be cranky, don’t be a gossip – or skanky

mind your manners, never forget to say “please and thanky!”

Every finger flip-off, push or a shove, elf will report to his boss –

fear not elf surveillance; acts of kindness will not be a loss!


elf15So that is how a shelf dwelling elf takes over your duties

minding behavior; as parent scams go, this one’s a beauty!

There must be a better way to keep kids in line

here is an idea from some good friends of mine.


Want your kids to toe the line til Christmas?

I have a plan much sounder; replace the elf

on your shelf with a Flounder on the Counter


Steely dead-fish eyes will watch every move

a flounder just lays there, nothing to prove

a fish with a backstory, you’ve nothing to lose

make a new tradition, find your holiday groove


Just tell your kids that Santa’s Flounder is watching

read them his tale they will comply without scoffing

if they desire all the toys they have on their lists,

they must keep beholden to a big, flat, dead fish:


Flounder on the Counter


“Here is his tale, your first encounter

flounder12here is how Santa came to hire a flounder


“I am a flounder, a big, flat fish from the seas!

I spent my time swimming, I was easy to please!


One day I found myself trapped in a big net

ending up on some ice in a fish market, I sat.



A  big guy with a beard came walking along,

grumpily humming a strange jingle-bell song

I was suddenly purchased – destined for dinner

but at our meeting I came out the winner!


The man you call Santa was in a foul mood

the business of kid spying, not favorably viewed

elves he employed were balking at workelf5

the kids they were spying on? A  bunch of jerks


moved from shelf to shelf was ignominious duty

then people really began to treat them quite cruelly;

elf muggings and tortures for Internet amusementelf6

elves quit, filed suit, claiming workplace abusement


I offered a solution Santa took just like that

“Keep kids in line with a dead fish that lays flat!

You won’t have much Internet screwing around;flounder2

threaten kids with dead fish, they won’t make a sound!”


Here is the story, written by me and Santa himself

(I am better behavior-mod that a green-tighted elf)

What follow is the poem that comes with the flounder

read it as a family, then place me on the counter:


“Each morning you’ll find me on a chair or your bed

Santa’s spying, all-knowing fish, not completely dead

flounder5AAAI’ll be laying there watching, a daily encounter

everything you do – your Flounder on the Counter


Why do I keep track of all that you do?

Why do you parents put up with my peyew?

Simple, young friend, old-fashioned extortion!flounder6

Intimidation by fish? Not out of proportion


Oh, and always beware as you often pass my counter

no matter the smell – don’t you dare dis the flounder!

Even if you hanker to screw around while at school

I’ll know from the cafeteria or some undercover tool


And before you go to bed each holiday nightflounder4AAA

say your prayers, spray your Lysol, I’ll still remain ripe

come the next morn, I’ll have taken short flight

I’ll be on the job someplace – just doing my job right


You’ll never know where I will next appear

unless your sense of smell has totally disappearedflounder9

I’ll be lying there, mouth agape, open eyes staring,

bad behavior I see and don’t say you’re not caring


There are the rules that govern my magical spell

there is nothing to do ‘bout my dead flounder smell

don’t try to remove me or I’ll just have to tell

then your Christmas gift getting will be shot all to hell.


But all threats aside, I can help you get what you seek

flounder21Don’t believe me? Just look in my eyes, ignore the reek

Tell me your wishes! What presents you would like!

Don’t be put off by my death smile, impressionable tyke!


I hope we will become friends, and you will not feel abused

by a dead fish reporting on everything you say and do

santahatonfishdon’t be paranoid, for this is just for the toys

a dead fish just coercing young girls and boys


I am just another cog in

the holiday enterprise

I am Flounder on the Counter –

Santa’s all-seeing dead eyes.”





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s